WCS Gets Royle Treatment at Marshfield
By Mary Langreck and Jeffrey Sachse
June 19, 2004; Marshfield, WI: – It was just over a year ago at the Dairy Days 75, that Farmington, MN native Adam Royle, lead his first laps in WCS competition. On that day is brilliant charge to the lead was negated by a spin while out front of the contest.
This evening, he earned some redemption, as he again bolted ahead of the pack after snaring the top spot from Jeff Weinfurter. This time, his trip to the checkered flag was flawless, interrupted by just a single caution period, Royle dominated the closing laps of the race enroute to his first career Wisconsin Challenge Series victory. Perhaps the biggest win of his young career.
Held in nearly ideal weather conditions, a field of 23 cars took the green flag. Polesitter Jeff Weinfurter, who has captured three WCS events during his career would square off with Jeremy Lepak at the start of the main event which would be contested at 75 laps.
Weinfurter would surge ahead of the initial lead, with Lepak settling in behind him at the conclusion of the first lap. Kirby Kurth, making his first WCS start of the season, showed off his sharp looking machine in third. Royle meanwhile had started in the sixth position, and had already climbed to fourth by lap two, running the outside line around the half-mile oval.
On the fifth round Royle would slip past Kurth for the third spot and begin to set his sights on the lead duo of Weinfurter and Lepak.
Lepak, who has paced several WCS events this season began to experiment with the outside line in effort to challenge Weinfurter. While Royal closed the gap. The trio were nose to tail by lap 10.
Just behind them, Elliott Weiler, a former Legends car racer and a rookie in Super Late Model competition was having a fantastic race. He had moved up several positions in the early laps and then swept by Kurth to run in the fourth spot. Weiler looked very impressive running just a few car lengths behind the lead trio.
Current Wisconsin Challenge Series point leader Mark Eswein placed himself on the scoreboard on lap 15, having reached the fifth position.
On lap 22, Royle would work his way under Lepak, and the two would engaged in a wheel to wheel battle for the lead over the next several circuits. Royal would eventually work his way by into the runner-up spot.
At the same time Weiler’s solid showing was beginning to come to an end. He slid up the track on lap 23 allowing Eswein to advance to fourth and moments later began to slow dramatically as his car refused to turn in the corners.
Out front Weinfurter had his hands full with Royle, who moved to his outside as the race reached lap 25. Royle would surge ahead on the next lap to pace his first lap of WCS competition this season.
Meanwhile the lone caution would appear on lap 26 as Weiler’s problem became apparent. A shower of sparks indicated a flat tire and unable to make the pit lane, forcing a slowdown.
When the green flag flew again Royle bolted back to the lead with Weinfurter in tow. Behind them Eswein had worked to the inside of Lepak and would steal away the third position, dropping Lepak to fourth.
Weinfurter would look low on Royal several times over the next ten laps in an attempt to regain the top spot, but Royal thwarted every effort.
With 30 laps remaining Royal began to get some breathing room, slowly edging away from Weinfurter and Eswein. Behind this group, the remaining positions changed often, with Chris Weinkauf settling into fourth. A cluster of cars including Todd Stapleman, Judd Brandl, Jason Weinkauf, Lepak and Gary Back the 2002 series champion all swapped the fifth spot back and forth between them.
Royle’s effort out front were further favored when Eswein and Weinfurter began to tussle over the second spot. Eswein, working the outside line, would power past Weinfurter for the second spot on lap 52.
After the pass however, Royle had extended his lead to a dozen car lengths as Eswein fought to close the gap. Weinfurter would settle into the third spot.
The laps quickly passed and Royle would extend his lead to nearly a full straightaway when he began to encounter lapped traffic with 10 laps remaining. While it was beginning to be apparent that Royle would win the contest barring some malfunction or miscue, the action further back was heating up, as several cars had caught Weinfurter who was still in third.
Royle would reach the checkered with a solid lead intact scoring his first WCS feature victory. Eswein, would reach the finish in second. The finish further enhanced his position atop the standings as he seeks to become the first driver in WCS history to win 2 championships. Eswein’s performance was his second runner-up showing this season, and the third straight time he has finished in the top three.
The battle for third went down to the final laps as Weinfurter fought hard to fend off a fast closing Chris Weinkauf and Gary Back.
Weinfurter would reach the stripe in third just ahead of a fast closing Back the evening’s fast qualifier and the 2002 series champion turned in a dramatic late race charge advance him several positions in the final laps. He would assumed fourth with only a two laps remaining, but was unable to pressure Weinfurter into a mistake to have a shot at third. Chris Weinkauf rounded out the top five as a gaggle of cars reached the stripe, several two wide.
Stapleman would finish sixth, Jason Weinkauf seventh, Don Turner, who worked his way from deep in the field advanced into eight at the finish. Lepak, and Keith Bohmsach would round out the top ten runners at the checkered, in an event where only 4 cars dropped from the contest.
Additional Wisconsin Challenge Series information can be found by calling (920) 731-6804 or by logging onto the series website at www.wisconsinchallenge.com
The first two laps of the CARQUEST Super Stock feature were led by Chad Scholl. Brian Weinfurter then moved up to take the lead. As Weinfurter began to stretch his lead, fast timer Cale Laessig, Tim Hintz and Randy Emmerich were working their way to the front. Weinfurter led with Randy Meyer, Rick Hetzel, Travis Zvolena and Chad Scholl the top five on lap four. Hetzel passed Meyer for second on lap six as Zvolena and Scholl battled back and forth for the fourth spot.
Lap seven, Zvolena took fourth from Scholl and then third from Meyer on lap eight. Matt Raykowski also passed Meyer on lap eight to take fourth. Lap nine, Hintz took fifth from Meyer, then fourth from Raykowski. Hintz trying to get to the front to chase down the leader, passed Zvolena for third and then Hetzel for second. Hintz was unable to catch up to Weinfurter. Weinfurter took the win, Hintz second, Hetzel third, Laessig fourth and Emmerich fifth.
Story by Woody Eckes work phone 715 384 4555 home 715 659 4291
Date: 06-19-2004 Location: Marshfield Super Speedway Marshfield, Wisconsin Blacktop 1/2 mile oval
Fifteen two-wheeled thunder cycles battled it out tonight on the super fast blacktop 1/2 mile track. Junction City’s Brad Seavers edged Hatley’s Steve Kasten for the first heat win, while Marshfield’s Cliff Eckes Jr. fled from the pack in heat two, setting the stage for the ten lap final. In a three-row starting grid, the riders revved their engines in anticipation of the green flag. The light went on, and they rocketed into turn one in a cloud of noise and sparks, a freight train of sound and color down the backstretch. Once again, Cliff Eckes Jr. put his Cliffs Cycle Service Yamaha into the lead, closely followed by Dan Vrana from West Bend and Hatleys’ Steve Kasten.
While the front three shadowed each other around the track, another battle was happening for spots four through six between first heat winner Brad Seavers, Ringle’s T. J. Zeidler and the up and comer of the night, Randy Ruffi of Lake Nebagamon. On lap five, third place Kasten worked his way into second past Vrana, while Eckes controlled the front, and Ruffi worked the high line past Seavers and Zeidler to take over fourth. But Kasten was not done moving forward yet, on lap seven, taking the lead from Eckes, who tucked back into Kasten’s draft, looking to repay the favor. In a game of high speed chess they sped through the remaining laps, with Eckes getting a run out of turn two, pulling even with Kasten on the backstretch, only to be fended of by Kasten entering turn three. On the last lap Eckes looked like he had the drive on Kasten coming out of turn four towards the checkers, only to slip sideways exiting the turn, as his rear tire said enough before the race was over. Kasten took his second victory of the season and a well deserved one it was.
RESULTS: 1.Steve Kasten 2.Cliff Eckes Jr. 3.Dan Vrana 4.Randy Ruffi 5. Brad Seavers 6.T. J. Zeidler 7.Adam Zwaschka 8.Jake Seavers 9.Jamie Seavers 10. Troy Johnson 11. Woody Eckes 12.Tim Ronnenberg 13.Craig Nigh 14.Craig Lewis 15. Mike Vogel
Boyer and Clark took the lead from their pole position start of the 2-Man Cruiser feature to take the win. Szymkowiak and Pionek after trying to take the lead from Boyer and Clark ended up second. Wheelock and O’Keefe finished third.
This Saturday’s is the Merle Weinfurter Memorial, TJ’s Auto & 8th Street Auto, Coca-Cola & WDLB/WOSQ Mid-Season Championship. Racing includes CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST Super Stocks, 4-Cylinders and 1-Man Cruisers. Pit Gate opens at 3:30 p.m., Practice starts at 5 p.m., Grandstand Gates 5 p.m., Time Trials 6 p.m. and Racing 7:30. Saturday’s race is raindated for Sunday Same Times.
Thomas Electric Service / Earth Inc. 75 – Results
Marshfield Speedway – June 19, 2004
100 Lap Feature: 1.) Adam Royle, Farmington, MN; 2.) Mark Eswein, Wisconsin Rapids; 3.) Jeff Weinfurter, Wisconsin Rapids; 4.) Gary Back, Vesper; 5.) Chris Weinkauf, Merrill; 6.) Todd Stapleman, Wautoma; 7.) Jason Weinkauf, Merrill; 8.) Don Turner, LaCrosse; 9.) Jeremy Lepak, Wausau; 10.) Keith Bohmsach, Wisconsin Rapids; 11.) Ken Reiser, Waukon, IA; 12.) Eugene Gregorich Jr., Kewaunee; 13.) Judd Brandl, Arpin; 14.) M.G. Gajewski, Wausau; 15.) John Zimmerman, Markesan; 16.) Brian Johnson Jr., Roscoe, IL; 17.) Kirby Kurth, Nekoosa; 18.) Elliott Weiler, Marshfield; 19.) Scott Broughton, Stoughton; 20.) Dean Lapointe, Marshfield; 21.) John Frazier, Marshfield; 22.) Terry Van Roy, Darboy; 23.) Rory Melbinger, Marshfield.
30 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Melbinger; 2.) Broughton; 3.) Lapointe; 4.) Turner; 5.) Bohmsach; 6.) Gajewski; 7.) Brandon Selle, Dale; 8.) Tony Strupp, Slinger; 9.) Dean Schultz, Juneau; 10.) Andy Tomlinson, Pardeeville
CARQUEST Super Late Models: WCS Race
CARQUEST CWSSA Super Stocks: Cale Laessig 20.358
CWMSA 4-Cylinders: Didn’t race
1-Man Cruisers: Didn’t race
CARQUEST CWSSA Super Stocks
Heat 1: Scholl, W. Meyer, R. Meyer, Weinfurter, Stanley.
Heat 2: Hintz, Laessig, Zvolena, Raykowski, Hetzel.
CARQUEST CWSSA Super Stock: Weinfurter, Hintz, Hetzel, Laessig, Emmerich, Raykowski, Zvolena, R. Meyer, Hutchens, Schmutzer.
2-Man Cruiser: Boyer/Clark, Szymkowiak/Pionek, Wheelock/O’Keefe, Heegebo/Hoyfer, Adams/Omerwik, Larsh/Becker.